Creative retreat in Italy with Sean Tucker

Taking time out for yourselves and going somewhere outside your normal daily environment to allow yourself to rest and to be creative is so important.

Along with many others, my best ideas and creative thoughts happen when I’m in complete rest. And it’s no good me talking about this, trying to persuade other people to do this if I didn’t do it myself.

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I’ve been reading by Sean Tuckers’ book ” Meaning in the Making” for a few months. I am really interested in digging deeper into creative lives and the meaning is behind our work. That to me is where photography starts. Why we create and how can we be freer with our art and how how we can understand ourselves more. I recently recognized the need to recharge and to step back from from daily life and to nurture myself a little.

I often do this anyway through my Hebridean van trips, but I also see great value in being around those that inspire you. And also being in a new environment and being taken care of completely. So I booked to go on a Creative Retreat in Tuscany, Italy with Sean Tucker and Ulysse Retreats.

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I purposely bought a camera that is completely different to my usual shooting style. Ffordes Photographic lent a Leica Q2 Monochrom and I really enjoyed just wandering slowly around the villa, looking for images that represent how it feels to be here. It is so far away from my usual style of photography it felt very freeing and enjoyable without any pressure at all. The camera itself was lightweight and easy to use and I have to say that it made me remember the enjoyment of shooting in B/W from all those years ago when I shot film black and white images!

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By the end of the week in Tuscany my creative work has really progressed far more than I could have really imagined. And I felt rested and happy. The combination of real downtime rest, feeling cared for and the inspiration that I found in other people was the perfect combination.

Sean had asked us to write morning pages during our stay, a concept from Julia Cameron’s book “The Artists Way”

I interpreted that in my own way and I decided to write a book page a day for a book I have wanted to write for a long time. But this turned on a tap for me and that most certainly wouldn’t have happened if I just stay at home. The value of investing in times and experiences like these can ve invaluable in ways you didn’t expect.

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So investing in time and space for yourself will always give you back something really valuable and you might not even know what it is before you go. But just trust yourself, if it feels right for you. A retreat doesn’t have to be a long trip overseas. It can simply be dedicating some time to being outdoors with a book or a long walk listening to podcasts that inspire you. Just finding those pockets of dedicated time for yourself is what is important. You can watch the video I made during my time in Italy below and find me on Youtube here!

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